FFAST over Columbus Day weekend showcases new artists

fall foliage trees along a mountain road

Bright and bold colors, dashing images, winding back roads…. these are some of the pleasures of the annual art tours over Columbus Day weekend.  Whether you’re on the road or in a new studio talking to artists, it’s an adventure!  

Because the Monadnock area is so rich with creative talent – there are actually two Columbus Weekend tours in the region!  The Monadnock Art Tour is the largest and oldest, linked directly to the old Dublin art colony.  Monadnock Art / Friends of the Dublin Art Colony began the tour in 1995.  The Monadnock Art Tour towns abut Dublin and include over 65 artists.  The Fall Foliage Art Studio Tour (FFAST), begun in 2008, includes towns that do not abut Dublin. FFAST, however, has a limit of 25 artists and a few guest artists!  Marlborough is the exception, with studios by artists on both tours.  

Meet the FFAST Tour Artists

Craig Stockwell’s studio in Keene

Marlborough, Keene, and Swanzey

In Marlborough, Dave Bulger’s FFAST studio shows an emphasis on realism in his animals: an elephant and a puma most notably.

Dave Bulger, graphite

Markedly, Keene includes one third of the artists on the Fall Foliage Art Studio Tour.  Several new artists have joined the tour since its inception. These include Craig Stockwell, Fred Howland, and Raleigh Omerod.  Craig Stockwell may be one of the more well-known artists to join the tour this year.  His colorful abstractions, large and small, play with minimalism, patterns, and various historical references.  Raleigh Omerod has intriguing digital works on glass, with sweeping wings of hawks and angled howling dogs in bright, prismatic colors. 

Fred Howland is a photographer who has moved back to Keene from northern Nevada.  His love of the open spaces and the stunning mountains is reflected in his works of horses, lakes, landscapes, and animals.  Just down the road from Howland’s home and studio is the work of Jim Murphy, who returns after a year off.  His pointillist forests glow with shots of green, blue, and yellow.  

Fred Howland, A Steady Hand, photograph

The FFAST tour regulars of Keene and Swanzey are absolutely worth seeing. The lovely landscapes of Jeanne Maguire Thieme and Gill Truslow are at the Pipe Dream studio.  Sue Doyle, Marylise Reilly-Fajal, and Carol Corliss create detailed realism in colored pencil, pastels, and paint.  Shannon Perry has strong abstractions and patterns of flowers in bright colors.  Tristan Bridges, also in Swanzey, has waterlilies and other watery subjects. 

Marylise Reilly-Fajal, Mt. Monadnock, watercolor

Temple, Rindge, New Ipswich, and more!

A newer addition to the FFAST tour is Pamela Nowell in Temple.  Her pottery shows luminous colors on tea pots, jars, and unusual vessels.  Adventurers can visit Shana Brautigam’s Rooted in Clay studio in Rindge for more beautiful ceramics.  Her pottery is often inspired by nature, with leaves pressed into the mugs and tea pots.  She also has various chimes and musical instruments.  Also in Rindge is the studio of Susan Wadsworth who works with abstracted landscapes on paper.  Some works are as large as nine feet wide, in pastel and ink, and others are as small as a foot square.  Jessica Thurber, multi-media artist of Rindge, is also known to join the tour.

In New Ipswich, Joe Farchaus, a blacksmith, crafts stunning works in pewter.  Danielle Le Bris has rich layers of encaustic wax images of landscapes and birds, while her husband Gerry Friedman works in steel sculpture with life, energy, and humor.  Judith Praeger has painterly, bright, landscapes, and still lifes.  Up a winding dirt road, Lisa Derby Oden’s works reflect her life on a farm with sensitive images of horses and Shaker-like landscape images.

Gerry Friedman, Anguist

On the northern edge of the FFAST tour in Antrim, Alex Kalish has shimmering works of blown glass and provides demos.  In Nelson, Frankie Brackley Tolman has brightly colored landscapes, often with her signature barns in orange and pink, with a guest silversmith, Jennifer Rousseau, sharing her studio.  Finally, in Munsonville, Bob Englund shows lovely bowls carefully turned, and Nancy Ann Belsky has an array of bright fiber works: quilts and hangings.  

Alex Kalish, Lapis Shard Vase

Enjoy the Fall Foliage Art Studio Tour

While some FFAST studios are open on Saturday and Sunday, most are open on Columbus Day.   Handicapped and restroom accessibility are noted in the brochures.   Look for brochures at local businesses, the Monadnock Center for History and Culture, and the Jaffrey Civic Center.  Please also check out the website for images and directions: http://fallfoliageartstudiotour.com. Contact Susan Wadsworth at susan.wadsworth@gmail.com for more brochures and information.

For more fall festivities, check out 5 Fall Festivals in the Monadnock Region. For more on the artists of the region, visit this page, or, visit Arts Alive’s creative community directory.

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